This story is from the category Education
Date posted: 01/09/2004
Black smoke roiled through the hatch, forming a thick cloud that obscured the upper half of a destroyer's storeroom. Flames engulfed the deck on the other side of the door.
Wearing a breathing mask and holding a fire hose in his hands, Mike Tenney swept the blaze with a steady stream of water. The roar and crackle of the fire assaulted his ears.
Gradually, the fire was extinguished, and Tenney was able to take off his mask and breathe again. Actually he could have done that before, really. It was, after all, a virtual reality training sim.
The San Diego-based destroyer Milius, is the first in the Navy to install a computerized firefighting trainer that combines virtual reality and augmented reality into one.
Called ARFF ? short for Augmented Reality Firefighting ? the system projects images of computer-generated fires, smoke and water on miniature TV displays in the sailors' breathing masks.
The system's advantage is that trainees wear a respirator mask and can see the actual compartment, filled with pumps, pipes, furniture and debris as they move through it.
The computer's superimposed scene of flames and smoke changes as the user moves around the fire scene. The jets of water also are part of the simulation.
"It tries to make it as real as possible," said Lt. j.g. Tom Quast, Milius' damage-control boss.
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